Web3 Weekly Wonderland | Edition #1 – Aug 2022
Hola, FinTech Fanatics!
Thanks for being a reader of our newsletters – Future of FinTech and Future of Crypto.
We love hearing from our readers about what they want from our newsletter.
And being a community-centric company, we decided to act on the feedback and better understand the nitty-gritty that formed the essence of our newsletter – Future of Crypto.
While Crypto has undoubtedly initiated a sea of change in the way industries look at the concept of money and value, there are other adjacent themes (such as Metaverse, NFTs, DAO, DID, etc.) that are synergistic and symbiotic with the Crypto trend, but have an independent evolutionary curve.
So we took a step back, refocused our viewfinder, and zoomed out to see what the big picture looks like. And voila – Web3 emerged as a unifying theme that better encapsulates the several segments that we have been covering in our Future of Crypto newsletter. We felt it was time to reflect upon this realisation and rechristen our newsletter to Web3 Weekly Wonderland (WWW). Get the inside scoop on why this pivot makes sense and understand the WWW newsletter's themes here. And as always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, for the 1st edition of our WWW newsletter, read on!
Fridays are for fun, so why not head to Wonderland? And we may just have one prepared – the Web3 Weekly Wonderland. Being on top of what's happening in Web 3.0 can be challenging, and guess what? You’re not alone. 🙅 So, let's hop on the Web3 rollercoaster 🎢 for a weekly adrenaline rush ⚡ where you can experience six exotic themes from the decentralised world. Excited?
But before that, make sure you subscribe ✒️ to our Web3 Weekly Wonderland and satisfy all your Web3 enthusiasm! We're ready to begin!
Let's kick off the newsletter with a tweet we know you'll like~
Here’s the TL;DR
The Web3 and blockchain sectors have made their presence known across geographies for quite some time now, and the dynamic US market is no exception. To add to the latest initiatives in the country, blockchain cloud infrastructure firm W3BCloud went live via a takeover by special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) Social Leverage Acquisition Corp I, and Coinbase Prime added Ethereum staking for US institutional clients.
Being all about that base, Coinbase was also in the news for teaming up with BlackRock to make it easier for institutional investors to manage and trade Bitcoin.
Trading isn’t limited to just cryptocurrencies, however, as Uniswap integrated with NFT marketplace Sudoswap to enable people to buy or sell in NFTs.
Nobody likes drainage issues, but the ecosystem hasn’t been fortunate enough to be devoid of them as of late. While crypto bridge Nomad fell victim to exploitation that led to losing cryptocurrency at a total value of nearly $200M, Solana was hit by a hack that drained millions in crypto from nearly thousands of internet-connected “hot” wallets.
Speaking of hot, some hot launches definitely spiced up the Web3 landscape the past week, with Aave DAO approving new stablecoin “GHO,” Binance’s novel Binance Account Bound token coming to play, and Polygon launching Nightfall, the platform’s scalability solution built on ZKP tech.
But what really took the headlines by the storm was SandStorm's release of its highly anticipated “proposal and bid” platform, which pairs brands with builders to allow them to deploy assets. Indeed an eventful week for the industry!
Let's dig deep into the decentralised dimension –
From regulations, to collaboration, to funding, and some dark clouds – you want it; you got it. We saw sunshine and storms in all things crypto last week, and boy, does it make for some scoop that will keep you on the edge of your seats!
A meeting between the first world nations shook up the news last week where the regulators in the US and UK met to talk about crypto regulations. Regulatory authorities reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing stablecoin governance. Towards an ethical decentralised world.
The crypto chips underwent a boom of new launches last week, including Masrelic launching its new relic token on the Ethereum blockchain on UniSwap with a motive of upending the Real Estate space. The crypto town was further strengthened by Bitcoin Valley’s launch of the first Bitcoin city in Honduras, where all the businesses will accept bitcoin. Adding to its growing list of staking options, Coinbase Prime added Ethereum for US domestic institutional clients. This means clients can now create a wallet, stake money, and initiate staking from their Coinbase Prime account's ETH asset page.
Funding-wise, AntPool, affiliated with Bitmain's mining rig giant, invested $10M to support the Ethereum Classic ecosystem, with plans to invest even more in the near future. Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger is gearing up to raise $100M. The money talks!
In other news, FC Barcelona, one of the most iconic football clubs, teamed up with Socios.com, a blockchain platform for sports fans, to invest $102M to acquire nearly a quarter of Barça Studios, which oversees the club's audiovisual productions.
There cannot be a rainbow without a bit of rain. NWSL players might get screwed after one of the league’s cryptocurrency partners, Voyager Digital, files for bankruptcy. After the SEC declared AMP a security, Binance's US platform delisted the cryptocurrency token. And, to make things worse, hackers have tapped into Solana's ecosystem, draining crypto funds from 8,000 “hot” wallets connected to the internet. Seems like hackers snagged both Solana's own cryptocurrencies (SOL) along with some compatibles, like USD Coin (USDC). Yikes!
The dApps space saw a melange of new launches and collaborative activities in the GameFi and DeFi ecosystem that are sure to keep the Web3 world buzzing.
Gambles of the GameFi
It was an abracadabra moment in the world of GameFi when San Francisco-based Magic Eden unveiled Magic Ventures, its Web3 gaming-focused venture capital fund. It's not over yet. Kikit, the Liberty-powered video gameplay platform, also announced a new blockchain-powered M2E fitness app to encourage gamers to live active, healthy lives. Health + gaming? A winning combo indeed.
In the mystical realm of GameFi, new launches weren't the only thing that stole the headlines last week. Mighty Bear Games hit the jackpot by raising $10M through a token sale to develop a web3 game called Mighty Action Heroes. As for partnerships, Sorare and AC Milan teamed up in an exclusive multi-year premium partnership to leverage NFTs, games, and Web3. With the deal, AC Milan gets a fresh way to engage fans and a new revenue stream from game licensing. It's a win-win.
In another surprising turn of events, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) found that almost 800 ads in the gaming and crypto sectors violated guidelines. Gaming and digital assets were among the six most violative industries. That's pretty alarming!
Diversion Ahead: Turning to DeFi
The DeFi trip begins at the unicorn club, where the Web3 digital identity service provider Unstoppable Domains became a “unicorn” by raising $64M in Series A funding led by Pantera Capital.
Next up on the DeFi drive is Silvergate Bank (SI), refinancing Marathon Digital Holdings' (MARA) existing $100M credit line and adding 100 million of new credit. After successfully registering with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Huobi is now eligible to start offering trading services in Australia. The company recently got a licence to operate in New Zealand as well.
The ride begins to get bumpy, however, with news of customers who held cryptocurrency in custody accounts at Celsius Network, the bankrupt trading and lending firm, seeking legal counsel to recover their funds, kicking off a legal battle! Not just this, but to make it even bumpier, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged 11 people with creating and running a cryptocurrency pyramid and Ponzi scheme that raised over $300M from retail investors worldwide. Tightening both the security and the seatbelt on that one!
Virtual World and Assets
A whirlwind of activities kept the digital assets world humming to the tune of NFTs and Metaverse.
Navigating the Notion of NFTs
There's been a lot of buzz around the NFT universe since Tiffany and Co., the luxury giant, broke into the space by announcing a series of NFTs and an upcoming sale with 250 limited editions. Grab some while you can!
Musing forward with Muverse, a music metaverse platform that hit the right note by unveiling its global products and future development plans to meet the innovative needs of the NFT industry. The launch boom hasn't ended yet, as STAT, an NFT platform, officially launched ‘Top Trader NFT Drops’ in collaboration with Bloomingbit to establish a healthy virtual asset investment culture. Creating a healthy environment seems to be the rage in Web3 Wonderland.
The funding segment is on fire as sustainability-focused NFT platform OneOf raised $8.4M in a strategic funding round that included Amex Ventures, the venture capital arm of American Express. With the flames of funding still burning, UneMeta, an NFT incubator, trading, and SocialFi platform, announced the closing of a $5M funding round led by the Jasmy Foundation, Japan's top IoT blockchain platform.
A new NFT marketplace gets on board with popular crypto exchange Uniswap announcing the integration of Sudoswap, which will enable people to trade in NFTs. Further paving the way, global cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin announced the collaboration with USTD and the launch of its NFT ETF Trading Zone for listing of 5 NFT ETFs initially and providing users with convenient access to trade and invest with USDT.
Plunging further into the entrancing world of NFTs, the pop-culture consumer products firm, Funko, partnered with the multinational mass media and entertainment corporation Paramount Global. Both companies plan to release NFTs based on Avatar Legends. NFTs certainly have their groove on!
Wait, there’s more – Brazilian company Nemus 15 is selling NFTs supposedly linked to a real-life physical land in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, which Brazilian prosecutors are demanding proof of.
Into The Metaverse Matrix
In the past week, the Asian community made waves in the metaverse, with the Indonesian government launching its own metaverse, MetaNesia, in an effort to adapt to the fast-changing digital ecosystem. Asia's fascination with the virtual world drove The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to announce the launch of the university's plan to build a virtual campus in the Metaverse, to be called MetaHKUST.
There's no stopping the metaverse charm, as leading metaverse builder SandStorm released its much-anticipated “proposal and bid” platform. This metaverse construction market lets brands hire builders from top virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox to build things on demand. A virtual Bob the Builder?
On the partnerships front, Tech Mahindra collaborated with Union Bank of India to unveil India’s first PSU Metaverse Lounge, called ‘Uni-Verse.’ The lounge will help the bank showcase its digital and tech-savvy image, especially to GenZ customers, so that they can check out its products and services. Further enriching the metaverse ecosystem, US’ 3D fashion technology company, Style.Me, together with XRSPACE, announced their strategic partnership to bring digital fashion to the metaverse. Metaverse ramp walks seem like the next thing to go mainstream!
The synergy of metaverse players doesn't stop here. P&E platform Mummy.io collaborated with Polygon Studios to scale the Mummy metaverse with a range of opportunities and future partnerships. Highstreet World, the leading retail-focused metaverse, partnered with Animoca Brands for an "Initial Home Offering" (IHO) of 5,000 futuristic All-Terrain Trailers. The homes will be for sale on Highstreet, taking Highstreet World of metaverse to the next level.
Privacy, Identity, and ZKPs: the stars of the Decentralised identity segment saw a plethora of happenings guaranteed to pump up everyone's interest.
Levelling up the confidentiality game, Polygon launched Nightfall, the platform's new scalability solution with enhanced privacy explicitly designed for enterprises. In the same vein, multi-chain identity protocol Litentry collaborated with blockchain infrastructure provider NodeReal to enable Web3 users and dApp developers to get the most out of Web3 while keeping their privacy intact. There seems to be an emphasis on robust utility in the checklist of another player, Findora, who partnered with Omni X to advance privacy for NFTs. In the partnership, leading Web3 privacy and interoperability teams will come together, opening up a whole new world of NFT possibilities.
Incognito Mode: On – Illusive Identity
As a way to deal with the constant drumbeat of identity breaches, the previous week's headlines covered the activity of Binance launching its Binance Account Bound (BAB) token, intending to address identity issues in the decentralised society (DeSoc). Similar to this tone, the Web3 identity and reputation company Civic aims to fend off bots, scams, and rug pulls with the launch of a new tool and a platform called Civic.me. Further, Art Group Limited announced the product launch of the ARTRACX Curator platform together with ENTITLE App and Entitle starter kit for artists, art dealers, and galleries wishing to create digital identities for IP protection and authentication, turning the Web3 universe all artsy.
Companies have been collaborating in a battle to tackle identity theft, and Fractal’s partnership with Avalanche to bring DIDs (decentralised identities) to its ecosystem proves just that. The collaboration allows users to hop between different dApps easily.
Zapping Through Zero Knowledge Proofs
The previous week witnessed various ZKP-related activities where Matter Labs, the company behind the zero-knowledge rollup zkSync, planned to launch zkSync 2.0 to Ethereum’s mainnet. zkSync 2.0 is a kind of Ethereum scaling solution meant to decrease Ethereum's high fees and boost its transaction capacity. Then there was Horizen, a privacy-focused zero knowledge network that announced the mainnet launch of its no-code tokenization platform TokenMint. The platform will bridge the accessibility gap in tokenization and allow anyone to craft a token regardless of their skill level. Time to unleash our inner craftsman!
Tons of activities kept the Decentralised Tech space moving to the beat of blockchain and smart contracts, creating an exciting atmosphere.
A chain of blockchain-related activities occurred last week, including VeChain announcing a strategic partnership with Amazon – aimed at leveraging cloud computing and blockchain technology to boost carbon management and scale operations. This technology also struck a chord with the Colombian government, which entered a partnership with Ripple Labs, the company behind the cryptocurrency XRP, to put land titles on the blockchain, a plan to fix land distribution that's led to wars for decades. There are plenty of resources for all!
Keeping things rocking, the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has finally dipped its toe into the crypto cosmo. In partnership with Coinbase, the company will give institutional clients access to crypto trading and custody.
Launches of blockchain tech also hit the headlines, with Horizon Kinetics launching its second ETF, the Blockchain Development ETF (BCDF), and began trading on the NYSE. Playstudios, the gaming entity, ventured into the Web3 world with a new blockchain division and investment fund that will use “rewarded play” in its game portfolio to deliver more enjoyable gaming experiences.
Not only that, but W3BCloud, a firm that builds global data centres for Web3 and blockchain, announced that it was going public via a takeover by a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC). Upon closing, the trust account of the SPAC is expected to yield $345 million. The transaction is also expected to boost W3BCloud's enterprise value to $1.25 billion. Unicorn incoming ＞＞
Speaking of Smart Contracts, Plutus Scripts, a Cardano-based smart contract, surpassed the 3,000 mark for the first time – making it a gala time for the company. Hold on; we're not just done yet – To keep up with the growing demand for digital payments and cryptocurrency, XLD Finance introduced OmniX, a new multi-tool web platform for cryptocurrency transfers.
An avalanche of events kept the Decentralised Governance forum in a frenzy! Big announcements, funding, collaborations, and a lot more took place to pique our readers' interests.
In the segment last week, industry players made big announcements where non-custodial market protocol Aave revealed that the Aave DAO has been approved as a new stablecoin for the ecosystem called “GHO.” Not just this, Messier's team announced that they are working on decentralised products & services to help consumers in the DeFi space. With 2022 starting on a down note for Terra after the collapse triggered a $2T crypto crash. A solid comeback is now in the offing for the company. Among the first Terra-built projects following the collapse of the ecosystem is the Enterprise Protocol, which looks to set “a new standard for DAOs on Terra.”
Another noteworthy headline about Dragonfly Capital is that it’s leading a $3.5M seed funding round for crypto credit protocol Debt DAO. It seems to be a win-win for Dragonfly capital. With Lido Finance's initial proposal rejected for selling 10 million LDO to Dragonfly Capital for 14.5 million in DAI with no lockup, they've revamped the plan. Under the updated proposal, it gives Dragonfly Capital the freedom to back out if the Lido price hits $2.25 during the vote.
TRON DAO, the network building the blockchain infrastructure for a truly decentralised Web, published a research paper on how it wants to make the internet accessible to everyone. The Apecoin DAO community members have given a green flag to a governance proposal to fund a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
And on top of it all, Pocket Network, a decentralised Web3 infrastructure provider, is revamping its protocol after its community rallied to make it more efficient and cost-effective. The move led Pocket DAO to pass two proposals that would affect Pocket Network's incentive structure.
It can sometimes be overwhelming for our Web3 wanderers to get their heads around the Web3 world 🌎 with new things popping up every day 🆕. So, let's get the basics of Web3 clear as we wrap up. Come learn with us! ✨
Web3 Weekly Glossary
Interoperability in Web3
Blockchain ecosystems need a smooth, buttery way to transact assets between blockchain networks. As long as this doesn't happen, the liquidity of digital assets won't go up. And there's no way Web3 will ensue if these issues aren't addressed.
Interoperability between Web3 chains means users can access tons of apps without having to say goodbye to the decentralised world. Thus, users can stay at their fingertips while still keeping their blockchains secure. With interoperability, a bunch of protocols get bundled together so everyone can use it safely – for work or fun!
That’s all for now!🤘
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Web3 Weekly Wonderland experience, and we look forward to seeing you next week! 💌
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